Slow Living 101: What is Slow Living?

Sloww Slow Living 101

I just completed the deepest dive into slow living that I’ve ever conducted. I combed the internet, read hundreds of articles, watched tons of videos, and checked out all the books, blogs, forums, and podcasts. This 3-part post series is intended to give you all the highlights and help you get started with slow living.

If you already have a basic understanding of slow living, feel free to jump ahead to the next posts in the series:

What is Slow Living?

Here’s a collection of the best — and most straightforward — descriptions of slow living:

  • “Slow living is living in a more balanced, meaningful, and life-affirming way.” (Source)
  • “Slow living is a lifestyle choice.” (Source)
  • “People every day are constantly living at a fast pace which is making them feel like their lives are chaotic — but with slow living they end up taking a step back and start enjoying life being conscious of sensory profusion.” (Source)
  • “Slow living is a lifestyle emphasizing slower approaches to aspects of everyday life.” (Source)
  • “Decelerating the pace of modern life.” (Source)
  • “The Slow Living Vision is of an Earth where humankind, honoring and celebrating the profound connectedness of all people, places and living beings, gives back by co-creating mutually supportive communities, bioregions and economic systems — and where we combine the wisdom of the past with a vision for the future to ensure a balanced, fulfilling way of life for all generations to come.” (Source)

What the Slow Living Lifestyle Really Means

As I was doing my research, I began seeing themes emerge in all the interesting ways people describe their own versions of slow living:

  • Slow living is a life philosophy, a state of mind and being, a reflective approach, and methodical process to daily life
  • Slow living is purposeful and fulfilling
  • Slow living is nourishing, savoring the minutes instead of counting them
  • Slow living is holistic, timeless, and based on ancient wisdom and spirituality
  • Slow living is about pacing, being steady and consistent
  • Slow living is taking a long-term view of your own life and the world around you
  • Slow living is about well-being and doing everything as well as possible instead of as fast as possible
  • Slow living is conscious, intentional, mindful, and living deeply
  • Slow living is an organic and natural way of living
  • Slow living is balance, ease, sanity, and low stress
  • Slow living is connection with yourself, those around you, and the world
  • Slow living is countercultural because it goes against the norm that “faster is better”
  • Slow living doesn’t treat everything in life as disposable
  • Slow living is fighting back against the current state of busyness and “time poverty”

Slow Living Quotes for Inspiration:

I previously posted some slow living quotes here that I’ll continue to add to in the future. Here are some new ones to inspire you:

  • “The central tenet of the slow philosophy is taking the time to do things properly, and thereby enjoy them more.” — Carl Honoré
  • “Slow Living means structuring your life around meaning and fulfillment. Similar to “voluntary simplicity” and “downshifting,” it emphasizes a less-is-more approach, focusing on the quality of your life…Slow Living addresses the desire to lead a more balanced life and to pursue a more holistic sense of well-being in the fullest sense of the word. In addition to the personal advantages, there are potential environmental benefits as well. When we slow down, we often use fewer resources and produce less waste, both of which have a lighter impact on the earth.” — Beth Meredith and Eric Storm
  • “I’ve interviewed more than 100 people who all have different views on what it means to live a slower life. From tree changes to urban living, tiny homes to ethical consumption, self-sustainability to slow food — there is no one right way of describing the external indicators of slow living because there is no one way to live a slower, simpler life. At it’s heart, slow living is a curious mix of being prepared and being prepared to let go. Caring more and caring less. Saying yes and saying no. Being present and walking away. Doing the important things and forgetting those that aren’t. Grounded and free. Heavy and light. Organised and flexible. Complex and simple. It’s about letting go of the excess stuff in our homes, learning how to live mindfully, getting in touch with our personal values and choosing to put them at the centre of all that we do.” — Brooke McAlary
  • “Slow living is just living slowly, in whatever and however way that means to you. It’s about knowing and passionately loving the things we value, and designing our lives to spend the most time possible enjoying them. It’s about having intentionality and consciousness in our activities, about escaping the mindless scrolling and unproductive multi-tasking and focusing on purposeful action. It’s about embracing the fact that you’re not doing it all — it’s about doing less, but better.” — Kayte Ferris

Slow Living Bloggers

I’ve learned that slow living and simple living overlap but are technically different. I’ve posted what inspired some of the top slow and simple living leaders here. The list below only includes those more focused on slow living:

Slow Living Online Forums & Communities

Be sure to check out this overview of slow and simple living forums and communities that covers Reddit, Facebook, and other forums/communities.

I’ve actually been building Twitter lists recently that you may find helpful as well:

Slow Living Books

Each post in this series includes links to slow living books. This first list below are some of the best to get started:

Slow Living Podcasts:

Just start with Brooke McAlary’s The Slow Home Podcast. There are quite a few others related to simple living and minimalism that I’ll recommend in posts on those topics.

Slow Living Videos

I have a page dedicated to slow living videos, but here’s one to get you started on your journey:

If this post piqued your interest, continue to the next post in the series: Slow Living 201: A Deep into Slow Living & The Slow Movement

Slow Living Resources

Slow Living Life Hacks | Slow Living Challenges | Slow Living Online Forums & Communities | Slow Living Quotes | Slow Living Book Summaries | Slow Living Videos

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Originally published at Sloww.